Reducing waste

04/2016 • Updated 14/04/2017

We committed to reduce, by 2020, the waste generated by our plants and distribution centres by 60%, from a 2005 baseline. We are undertaking ambitious actions to reduce waste at source, while ensuring the recovery of residual waste.

L’Oréal seeks to promote local recovery solutions wherever possible, both to reduce the environmental impact of waste management and to promote the circular economy while creating industrial synergies with other regional stakeholders.

This is an ambitious challenge for the Group, which denes “waste” as any solid substance that is not marketed as a nished product.

A very ambitious policy

A very ambitious policy L’Oréal has an ambitious waste-management policy which goes well beyond regulatory compliance. We have thus set a very exacting definition of “waste”, which includes, for example, raw-material packaging or packing items, sludge from the wastewater treatment plants and obsolete products.

In 2016, we reduced the quantity of waste generated per finished product by 35% compared to 2005. An important stage was moreover reached in 2016: since December, no distribution centre sends waste to landfill. Our plants had already reached this milestone at the end of 2015. At the end of 2016, four years ahead of schedule, 100% of our industrial sites therefore reached the “zero waste to landfill” target.

Reducing waste at the source

L’Oréal’s commitment to reduce its industrial waste involves decreasing the use of materials in all areas of its industrial activity.

This approach is underpinned by a number of wide-ranging initiatives involving the Packaging and Sourcing teams, working directly with the Group’s raw-material and packaging-component suppliers and all manufacturing teams to target three key areas: 

  • reducing waste related to transport packaging both in the plants and the distribution centres, through measures such as eco-design, weight savings, reuse, standardisation and “wall-to- wall” production, which consists in setting up supplier-operated packaging-production units within its plants to reduce, which makes it possible to reduce the transport of packaging and the generation of waste from the transport packaging.
  • continuous improvement in manufacturing and packaging to boost the efficiency of production processes and cut waste from such processes: the Libramont plant in Belgium reduced waste from production by 30% in 2015; 
  • installing on-site sludge-drying systems at plants with in-house wastewater treatment facilities to reduce the volume of waste from sites and decrease the environmental impact of their downstream transport and treatment operations;
  • improved recovery of obsolete product inventories in order to limit their destruction.

Achieving the goal of “zero industrial waste to landfill”.

L’Oréal reached another important milestone in December 2015: all of its plants met the target of sending “zero waste to landfill”. All distribution centres are expected to achieve this objective in 2016.

Recovering residual waste 

L’Oréal wants to go one step further by ensuring the best possible recovery of waste which cannot be avoided at the source. In 2016, 98% of industrial waste is recovered – namely reused, recycled or recovered for energy. 69% of this waste was recovered in material form (i.e. reused or recycled).

L’Oréal endeavours to promote local recovery solutions wherever possible, both to reduce the environmental impact of waste management and to promote a circular economy by creating industrial synergies with other local stakeholders.

Back to « Producing »
2016 -48%
2015 -45%

Reduction of water consumption in  our plants and distribution centres since 2005 (in litre per finished product). Our target: -60 % by 2020.

-67% CO2 emissions

+29% production

Results recorded since 2005, which show that ambitious commitment for the climate and economic performance can work together.

2016 -35%
2015 -31 %


Reduction of waste generated by our plants and distribution centres since 2005 (in grams prr finished product). Our target: -60% by 2020.

« Nous sommes tous mobilisés pour construire un Loréal plus durable. »

Alexandra Palt

Directrice Responsabilité Sociétale et Environnementale



Find all our publications regarding our sustainability commitments as well as press kits and videos in the Resources section.

All resources
2015 report

Our 2016
progress report

Download the 2016 progress report